The Randy Rogers Band
9081 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA, 90069
This event is all ages
The Randy Rogers Band
When the Randy Rogers Band’s last project debuted as the most-downloaded country album on iTunes, plenty of the industry “insiders” on Music Row were left scratching their heads: Who are these guys?
The Nashville elite may not have known about the five-piece band, but much of America already did. Rolling Stone magazine ranked them alongside such artists as U2 and the Stones in its list of Top 10 Must-See Artists in the summer of 2007. They earned $2.5 million—a staggering total for a still-developing act—on the tour circuit in a single year. Willie Nelson, the Eagles, Gary Allan and Dierks Bentley all picked them as opening acts for their concerts. And more than 2,200 people showed up and bought the bands album at an appearance at Wherehouse Music.
The fans’ exuberance was shared by USA Today, which praised the band for having “loads of grit, swagger and heart.”
The Randy Rogers Band built its audience by combining forces: It’s a dynamic live act centered around songs that fit the rowdy, party vibe of the concert circuit, but their songs also say something.
That’s particularly true in the new album, The Randy Rogers Band, in which a dozen persuasive tracks give the listener plenty of reasons to want to down a celebratory brewski. But the songs also maintain a depth that makes them powerful and provocative even beyond their edgy arrangements and tough-guy sound.
Invariably, the songs are about people making choices and dealing with the consequences they bring. That’s the case in the opening “Wicked Ways,” in which a string of wild endeavors leaves an out-of-control adult in need of redemption. It’s true in “When The Circus Leaves Town,” where a performer comes to terms with the emotional crash that accompanies the conclusion of a pumped-up show. It’s even a tenet in “One Woman,” a ballad that finds a former playboy recognizing his old choices and behaviors were a shallow pursuit next to the promise and solidity that stand before him.
“These songs are definitely true, and they’re relatable to many different life situations that I’ve either gone through in the past or will go through in the future,” Rogers, the lead singer and primary songwriter, says. “I just tried to create believable characters and relatable characters. I hear from fans that we really have helped them in real-life situations when they’ve applied the songs to their everyday life. That’s what I strive for in the songs that I write.”
“We’re not old, but we are getting a little bit more mature,” bass player Jon Richardson asserts, drawing laughter from the rest of the band. “We’re trying to be more mature, anyway. And that’s something that we can write about a little more naturally now instead of ‘Here’s a song about how much fun I had’ or ‘Here’s a song about a girl.’ That’s probably just a natural progression of our own lives being reflected in our songs.”
Indeed, the Randy Rogers Band is confronting the same questions about relationships and identity that face many of the college students and young adults that form the centerpiece of the group’s audience. The balancing act between work, home and recreation is a difficult one—even tougher for an ensemble that spends more than 200 days annually on the road.
“All the guys, except for Jon, are married or soon to be married,” guitarist Geoffrey Hill observes. “Les [drummer] and I both have kids. So sometimes it feels like you’ve really gotta struggle to fit all that into your life, I guess, but it’s kinda part of the game. I always said that I play music for free, and I get paid to leave the family behind and go on the road.”
That requires a constant rededication to the group, a commitment the five members have repeatedly made since the current lineup coalesced in 2003.
Jonny Burke is at it again. Just over a year after the release of his debut solo album “Distance And Fortune”, Burke puts forth “Cup Runneth Over”.
A veritable narrative of the seedy underworld and gritty glory that is the life of a down and out song man, “Cup Runneth Over” projects the insight of a young artist who has seen more than his share of heavenly highs and crippling lows; ranging from rootsy, rollicking numbers (Wake Up, Back On Top) to tuned-down soulful tracks (El Paso, God In Them (You)) peppered with a good dose of humor (Sociopath, 32.50).
As sonically adventurous as it is lyrically ripe, the album seamlessly exhibits a combination of bluesy riffs, synthesized bass and crashing drums, plus songs featuring just Jonny and his guitar. Guest appearances throughout include Ian McLagan (Faces, Small Faces, Stones) and Marc Ford (Black Crowes). Interludes of minute-long sketches acted out by a Montana whitewater guide, a former Penthouse pet, hometown neighbors, a noted cinematographer and a German oompah band (all friends of Jonny’s, of course) leave the listener guessing and laughing simultaneously.
Though his bread and butter influences such as Townes Van Zandt and The Rolling Stones still shine throughout the album, “Cup Runneth Over” is a clear departure from the classic sounds of last year’s “Distance And Fortune”. As producer of the bulk of the project –released on his own Dreamcar Records—Burke puts forth an album that is as raw and honest as it gets.
In “Cup Runneth Over”, Burke injects his stories with the sharpest of wit, and an attention to detail that leaves little to the listeners’ imagination. And however far he takes his story, Burke maintains a connection to his subject matter. On Sociopath, a tale of a murderous girlfriend, Burke says “I’ve been chased in a car a few times. Sure, I’ve been threatened with a knife by a girlfriend. But the more I sing this song live the more I find lots of people have been in a relationship like this at some point.”
Burke admits that he has enjoyed being on stage and performing from an early age. He was born and raised in New Braunfels, a town in Texas between San Antonio and Austin. His dad taught him his first chords and played him Chuck Berry’s ‘Jonny B. Goode’ when he was a little boy and Burke would listen to albums like Dylan’s “Highway 61 Revisited” and Townes Van Zandt’s “Flyin Shoes” over and over again. By the time Burke was 15, he was already performing in bars. He formed his first band, the Dedringers, with his friend Sean Faires, and it became a popular regional band while they were still in their teens. “I thought it was the coolest thing in the world to come home after playing a bar and making a little cash,” he recalls. “Nobody in high school could compete with that!”
When it comes to celebrating the release of “Cup Runneth Over”, it turns out Jonny Burke is one hell of an event planner. On March 15, Burke and friends threw the first annual Heartbreaker Banquet on Willie Nelson‘s ranch outside of Austin, where Jonny toasted his latest project alongside an explosive lineup of performers including Gary Clark Jr., Blitzen Trapper, James McMurtry, Father John Misty, Phosphorescent, Billy Joe Shaver, Joe Pug, Shovels and Rope, Jonny Corndawg, Ray Wylie Hubbard and Rhett Miller.
adv tix $15.00 / day of show tix $20.00
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